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Remove the outdoor pool at Port Moody’s Rocky Point Park? That’s one of the suggested 'big ideas' for the park’s future

The city is in the process of creating new master plans for Rocky Point and Old Orchard parks
CITY OF MISSION A waterfront plaza, like this one envisioned for the city of Mission, could be a part of Rocky Point Park's future suggests a consultant's report.

Relocating the outdoor pool to create more lawn space for events is just one of the “big moves” proposed for Port Moody’s Rocky Point Park in a consultant’s report that is being presented to the city’s parks and environment committee today (July 17).

The report, by landscape architecture and urban design firm Hapa Collaborative, outlines the preliminary concepts of new master plans for Port Moody’s signature waterfront park as well as Old Orchard Park, just across Burrard Inlet.

It follows months of engagement with city staff, stakeholder workshops, a public survey, pop-up information events and outreach to First Nations.

Further engagements are planned for the fall.

In its report, Hapa said it heard Rocky Point Park should be “an active and inclusive community hub and waterfront destination” that is a gathering place for events and recreational activities.

And it should also support its rich natural and marine environments.

To achieve those goals, the company is suggesting the city consider five “big ideas” with varying degrees of impact on the existing park.

One would be to improve pedestrian circulation through the park by widening and rebuilding pathways, strengthening connections to transit like the Moody Centre SkyTrain station and even eliminating the slip lane entrance for vehicles coming off the Moody Street overpass.

Another would be upgrading and enlarging Rocky Point’s areas for kids and youth, like the spray and skate parks.

A third idea wold be expanding the central events lawn, possibly by relocating the outdoor pool and moving the stage to improve operational access.

The other big ideas include improvements to the waterfront edge to allow visitors to get closer to the water and restoration of the natural shoreline as well as enhancements to the tree canopy.

Hapa’s report said some of the concepts could be achieved with minimal changes to the existing park like construction of a waterfront boardwalk that includes a small spray plaza while retaining the pool and stage in their current locations.

More moderate changes would add a waterfront plaza and perched beach that could reduce the amount of parking available for users of the boat launch, as well as removing the pool to create a commercial boardwalk at the southern edge of an expanded events lawn along with relocating the stage.

The most dramatic changes to the park would see the construction of a larger waterfront plaza that extends along the shoreline, removal of the pool where a commercial village, dining terrace and play fountain would be located and shifting the stage to a spot overlooking the inlet.

Further longterm changes the consultant said the city might want to consider in the future for Rocky Point include:

  • removing the boat ramp
  • constructing a mixed-use community centre/commercial building with underground parking
  • reconfiguring the Moody Street overpass
  • removing the large parking lot

As for Old Orchard Park, the consultant’s report said is should be a “local, family-oriented beachfront park that supports a calm and peaceful environment” for visitors and embraces its close connection to the water and surrounding environs.

To achieve that, it suggests the creation of a gateway monument to the park and trail system, improving access to the beach and also enlarge it, reconfiguring the hillside above the beach to better integrate with the slope and add washroom and change room facilities.

As well, the park’s meadow area should be improved to create more space for picnicking and small events.

A new master plan for the parks’ future is expected to be ready for consideration by Port Moody council sometime next winter.

SOUND OFF: What do you think about the suggested changes to Rocky Point and Old Orchard parks? What would you like to see in those parks? Send us a letter to the editor. Be sure to include your first and last names, as well as your city of residence.